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Kalmus, Natalie (1887-1965)

Colour Consultant

Main image of Kalmus, Natalie (1887-1965)

An infamous figure in the history of colour cinematography, who often fought with cinematographers and art directors and is generally considered to have contributed little to the films on which her name appears. The Technicolor system was invented in large part by Herbert T. Kalmus, who had married Natalie Dunphy in 1903. When she divorced him in 1922, the divorce settlement gave her the right to place her name as Color Consultant on all Technicolor productions.

When Technicolour (sic) Ltd. was formed in the UK in 1935, she was shipped to England, where her name appeared on the first British Technicolor production, Wings of the Morning (d. Harold Schuster, 1937), and stayed here for a number of years. Following a series of bitter lawsuits, her name was finally removed from Technicolor films in 1949, after which Joan Bridge became British Techicolor consultant.

Anthony Slide, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Selected credits

Thumbnail image of Black Narcissus (1947)Black Narcissus (1947)

Remarkably passionate melodrama set in a Himalayan convent

Thumbnail image of Blithe Spirit (1945)Blithe Spirit (1945)

Noël Coward comedy about a ghost who won't stay still

Thumbnail image of Drum, The (1938)Drum, The (1938)

London Films' first Technicolor feature, a stirring Empire epic

Thumbnail image of Elusive Pimpernel, The (1950)Elusive Pimpernel, The (1950)

David Niven stars in an entertaining tale of revolutionary France

Thumbnail image of Four Feathers, The (1939)Four Feathers, The (1939)

Lavish Technicolor costume epic about an alleged coward fighting in the Sudan

Thumbnail image of Henry V (1944)Henry V (1944)

Laurence Olivier turns Shakespeare into rousing propaganda

Thumbnail image of Jassy (1947)Jassy (1947)

Technicolor melodrama about a gypsy girl with second sight

Thumbnail image of Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943)

Ambitious wartime saga which infuriated Churchill

Thumbnail image of London Town (1946)London Town (1946)

Notoriously disastrous Technicolor musical extravaganza

Thumbnail image of Matter of Life and Death, A (1946)Matter of Life and Death, A (1946)

Romance fantasy bridging the gap between two worlds

Thumbnail image of Maytime in Mayfair (1949)Maytime in Mayfair (1949)

Light Anna Neagle comedy set in the world of haute couture - in Technicolor

Thumbnail image of Men of Two Worlds (1946)Men of Two Worlds (1946)

An African music student returns home to save his tribe

Thumbnail image of Mikado, The (1939)Mikado, The (1939)

Lavish Technicolor version of the perennial Gilbert and Sullivan operetta

Thumbnail image of Red Shoes, The (1948)Red Shoes, The (1948)

Powell and Pressburger's beautiful and delirious ballet film

Thumbnail image of Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)

Ealing's first Technicolor film, an uncharacteristic period melodrama

Thumbnail image of Scott of the Antarctic (1948)Scott of the Antarctic (1948)

Lavish recreation of Captain Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole

Thumbnail image of Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)

Michael Powell co-directed Korda's lavish Arabian Nights fantasy

Thumbnail image of This Happy Breed (1944)This Happy Breed (1944)

David Lean/Noël Coward film about a London family between the wars

Thumbnail image of Trottie True (1948)Trottie True (1948)

Lavish, Technicolor romance with Jean Kent as a rising music-hall star

Thumbnail image of Western Approaches (1944)Western Approaches (1944)

Wartime propaganda at its best, and a rare Technicolor treat for its day

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